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Clyde & Co has opened an office in Belgrade in the first leg of its planned expansion into the former Yugoslavia and its surrounding countries.
The five-person office was formally launched last week and will be run jointly by two local partners, Radoje Stefanovic and Miodrag Trajkovic. They also plan to use a network of local lawyers to meet clients' needs. Apart from Belgrade, the firm's only other office in Central and Eastern Europe is in St Petersburg, Russia. Stefanovic said: "Clyde & Co is expecting to increase its coverage of the former Yugoslavia, as we're expecting an increase in foreign investment into the region. "The idea is to expand into the whole of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia and Bosnia. The firm is also looking at launching in Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania." Clyde & Co also has experience of working with companies with commercial interests in Serbia and Montenegro. None of the firm's plans to expand in and around the former Yugoslavia are definite, admitted Stefanovic. But the firm is certainly very interested in the economic possibilities thrown up by the end of the Milosevic regime. "We're now expecting improvements in the region and greater cooperation between the countries and states of the former Yugoslavia," said Stefanovic. Clyde & Co has had a formal association with Stefanovic and Trajkovic, who are both commercial lawyers, since January 2001. Since then, the two local lawyers have worked with the firm for common clients, most notably the international commodity trading company East Point Holdings. Previously, Stefanovic jointly ran a small law firm with another local lawyer, and up until 1988 was the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. Trajkovic taught law at a college in Belgrade before returning to private practice. Until the early 1990s, he served as the Yugoslavian Ambassador to Brazil. The five-person Clyde & Co team will be based in the Genex building in Belgrade. Another local lawyer, who is currently on secondment to Clyde & Co's office in London, will join them in February next year.